Transgrid has announced a commitment of $180 million to upgrade transmission capacity in south western NSW to fast-track integration of low-cost, zero carbon renewable energy into the grid.
The upgrade of a key section of EnergyConnect, to be underwritten by the Federal Government, will future-proof the transmission network, which is critical for the development of the planned South West Renewable Energy Zone, and will enable the full benefits of Snowy 2.0.
Executive Manager of Delivery, Craig Stallan, said by investing in the upgrade now, NSW households would avoid paying an additional amount of approximately $600 million to build a new connection in the future.
“We invest in our network to deliver reliability, affordability and sustainability – as the integrated system planner in NSW, we are constantly thinking ahead to provide the best outcomes for customers, communities and the energy system as a whole,” Mr Stallan said.
“Greater transmission capacity makes our transition to a clean, low cost energy system possible. Today’s announcement will unlock 50 per cent more capacity now and allows for an additional 250 per cent (for a total of 300 per cent) when operating at 500KV.
“We are grateful for the support of the Federal Government for backing this upgrade which will fast-track the connection of more renewable energy to the grid, providing maximum benefit to consumers and the least impact on local communities.”
Trangrid anticipated the future need to upgrade the 330kv transmission lines to 500kV between Dinawan and Wagga when finalising the contractual arrangements for EnergyConnect, which means the work will be delivered as part of the existing contract with construction partner, the SecureEnergy joint venture.
In May 2021, following regulatory approval of EnergyConnect, Transgrid confirmed it would invest $1.834 billion in the NSW section of the 900km interconnector. The project will save NSW customers $180 million per year and provide a missing link in the National Electricity Market (NEM), by connecting more low cost renewable generation and reinforcing connectivity between the state grids of NSW, South Australia and Victoria.
Transgrid is making the investment now to ensure the upgrade of the transmission network is accelerated to support the rapid transition to renewable energy. A regulatory process will be pursued at a later date.
Transgrid has also been working hard behind the scenes on a company-wide rebranding initiative, unveiling a new brand, logo and website as it focuses on the transition to clean energy.
Transgrid Acting CEO, Brian Salter, said Transgrid’s last brand overhaul was more than 25 years ago.
The new brand tagline focuses on People, Power and Possibilities.
“Our former logo was introduced in 1995 and a lot has changed since then, with the shift to renewables now picking up at lightning speed. As our energy system undergoes rapid and enormous changes, our brand is also evolving to better reflect the critical work we do and our aspirations as we lead the transition to a clean energy future,” Mr Salter said.
“For more than 70 years, Transgrid and our predecessors have played a key role in powering NSW and it is our people that continue to provide an essential service to customers and communities.
“Every day we are making a better power system for Australians and we are building new infrastructure that will enable the connection of more renewable energy. We are embracing new technologies and driving innovation to create new possibilities.
“People, power and possibilities have always been core to who we are and what we do but this new brand has been designed to reflect what’s at the heart of our organisation; reliability, innovation, and progress.
Transgrid’s new logo has been designed to represent an axis of endless possibilities and transformation. As part of the brand overhaul Transgrid has also created a new indigenous interpretation of the brand.
“I’m really proud that as we look to the future we are also able to honour our indigenous history and the traditional owners of the lands on which we operate today,” Mr Salter said.